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John Sidney

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Published : 1 Article
Pen Names : None
Date of Birth : N/A
Death : N/A
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Son of Abraham Solomon, M.D. Like his brother Samuel, changed his name to "Sidney". According to A Voice from the Far Interior of Australia. By a Bushman, "arrived in New South Wales at seventeen years of age, fresh from school, with ... the best sort of English and French education that a lad up to that age gets, when he prefers hunting, shooting, and fishing, to prizes and schoolmasters' praise". Stayed in New South Wales for six years, working "in the wildest parts of the colony" at sheep, cattle, and horse raising. Returned to England, 1844. In 1847 Smith, Elder & Co. published A Voice from the Far Interior of Australia. By a Bushman, with prefatory note reading: "To the magistrates and country gentlemen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, these observations are respectfully addressed, by their obedient humble servant, John Sidney." Samuel Sidney stated, concerning the book: " ... I wrote [it] for my brother, who was a close observer but no writer" ("Preface", The Three Colonies of Australia, 2nd ed.). Co-author with his brother of Sidney's Australian Hand-book, 1848; co-editor with his brother of first numbers of Sidneys Emigrant's Journal. Returned to Australia "in 1848, before the fifth number was published" (Samuel Sidney, "Preface", The Three Colonies of Australia, 2nd ed.).

In his letter to Miss Burdett-Coutts, February 4, 1850, Dickens stated that the Sidneys (unnamed) had written him "a very earnest letter, expressive of their desires" to become contributors to H.W. on the subject of emigration; by the date of his writing, however, he remarked, "I fancy the Bushman brother has gone back again"—i.e., to Australia. Since John Sidney had returned to Australia more than a year before the date of Dickens's letter, Samuel Sidney must have written the "very earnest letter" in his and his brother's name.

"Milking in Australia" (not listed in the Office Book) appeared, as a "filler" in the original issue of H.W.  It was there stated to be "From 'Scenes in the Life of a Bushman' (Unpublished)". In Sidney's Emigrant's Journal, the unpublished "Scenes" is attributed to the Sidneys jointly and, also, to Samuel Sidney alone: In the Journal, August 1849, appeared a chapter from "Scenes from the Life of a Bushman" stated to be "an unpublished Australian Tale, 'Raphael Armorer, the Bushman', by the Authors of 'The Australian Hand-book'". Chapters that appeared in later numbers were stated to be from "Scenes in the Life of Raphael Armorer, the Bushman"; one of these later chapters was indicated as "By the Editor"—i.e., Samuel Sidney, who was then sole editor of the Journal. The "Scenes" was evidently a joint composition of the two brothers in the same sense as was A Voice from the Far Interior of Australia.

Aside from his share in "Milking in Australia", John Sidney appears in H.W. indirectly, as the source of the personal observations, experiences, and stories related in various of Samuel Sidney's Australian contributions. In addition, Samuel Sidney's "Rio de Janeiro and Its Feather-Flowers", stated to be an excerpt from "the manuscript journal of a traveller", may be based on or taken from John Sidney's record of his second voyage to Australia.

Harper's reprinted "Milking in Australia" without acknowledgment to H.W.

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